Harmony's Silvester Celebration - New Year's Eve on German Time

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Harmony celebrates New Year’s Eve on Dec. 31 with a family-oriented "Silvester" celebration reflecting the community’s historic German roots, beginning with races with hundreds of runners and concluding with fireworks welcoming 2016 at 6 p.m. - midnight in Germany.

Harmony was founded in 1804 by German immigrants who organized as the Harmony Society, one of 19th century America’s most successful communal groups. The local Silvester always attracts thousands of visitors because of its family orientation. In Germany, the celebration of New Year's Eve is commonly called Silvester for a 4th century Pope Sylvester whose death on the last day of 335 was commemorated with a feast.

Harmony invites families to enjoy an afternoon of Silvester activities on Dec. 31.

Activities include:

  • Harmony Museum Tours
  • New this year: Christmas Tree Throwing Contest
  • The short comedy film "Dinner for One," in English, popular on New Year’s Eve in Germany
  • Bleigiessen, the German tradition of examining the shape of a bit of melted lead dropped into water to interpret what the New Year may hold. 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM
  • A pork and sauerkraut dinner - Cost is $12, starts at 3:30 PM Harmony Museum's Stewart Hall (no reservations)
  • A 5-K Run/Walk and 1-Mile Fun Run - Info and Sign Up
  • Music
  • Beverages and snacks
  • Year-end surprises at specialty shops throughout town
  • A ball drop to signal the arrival of 2016 at midnight in Germany (6 p.m. In Harmony), followed by a spectacular fireworks show.